File Picture: David Ritchie / Independent Media.
File Picture: David Ritchie / Independent Media.

Covid-19 puts the brakes on Aarto demerit system

By Mphathi Nxumalo Time of article published Jun 4, 2020

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Durban - Transport stakeholders welcomed the postponement of the Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences Bill announced this week due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a department statement, the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak severely compromised the capacity of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency (RTIA), the entity responsible for the Aarto rollout, and has resulted in a severe loss of revenue to support the preparatory activities.

“For this reason, RTIA is in no position at this stage, to successfully conduct the national rollout of Aarto. The situation will be reviewed in due course for further determination as to when the rollout date will be promulgated.”

The bill was signed into law last year by President Cyril Ramaphosa. It aimed to curb the carnage on South Africa's roads by blocking people who failed to pay traffic fines and also preventing them from getting vehicle licences.

The Daily News previously reported that the demerit system would allow drivers to accumulate a maximum of 12 points, for various offences which would lead to their licences being suspended and in some cases being cancelled.

Justice Project SA chief executive Howard Dembovsky welcomed the postponement saying it was unlikely that it was going to be implemented any time soon.

Dembovsky felt the bill was unconstitutional and that it was “based on a presumption of guilt”.

The South African National Taxi Council also welcomed the postponement. Provincial manager Sifiso Shangase said while they had supported the bill if it was to be implemented this month it would have been a problem because Santaco was fighting the battle against Covid-19.

“We would have challenged them if they decided to implement it,” he said.

Daily News

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